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|In today's edition: Bipartisan confusion, Fairness Act advances, public sector protections, Summer Lee's a 'no,' and commissioner candidate arrested.
There's a long history of school board and other local candidates cross-filing, or running in both parties, in Pennsylvania primaries, but as races get more partisan, some lawmakers want to end the option.
Why do candidates cross-file in the first place? To maximize their chances of reaching the general election ballot in November.
But while education advocates say this system decreases partisanship by allowing primary voters to focus on candidates rather than political affiliations, some state lawmakers say those affiliations are important for voters to know, especially in small local elections with limited media coverage.
Read Spotlight PA's full report: Party affiliation can be misleading in local Pa. elections. Some lawmakers want to axe cross-filing.
THE CONTEXT: State Rep. Marci Mustello (R., Butler) said cross-filing does voters a disservice, and she's once again introduced a bill that would limit school board candidates to filing with a single political party.
Mustello said voters want to know "which side people are on and the core beliefs that each party has," adding, "I think it's just less confusing."
Another proposal, this one from state Sen. Judy Schwank (D., Berks), would keep cross-filing but require any candidates that run for more than one party nomination to list on the ballot what party they personally belong to.
|NOTABLE / QUOTABLE
"The more critical issue is that virtually none of the claims made by Rep. Maloney in the letter are accurate."
—Berks Co. Commissioner Christian Leinbach on claims state Rep. David Maloney (R., Berks) made insinuating ulterior motives behind the Reading Regional Airport Authority's rejection of a historic private investment
|Paw prints, via Don H. Send us your Pennsylvania photos by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
|FAIRNESS ACT: The Pennsylvania House has passed a bill banning discrimination against LGBTQ individuals in employment, housing, and all other public accommodations in a 102-98 vote. It now goes to the GOP-controlled state Senate. Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro will sign the bill if it reaches him, saying last week: "I am urging leaders in the House and the Senate to get it to my desk as fast as possible.”
PUBLIC SECTOR: Spotlight PA's Stephen Caruso reports a bill that would make Pennsylvania the 30th state to extend OSHA workplace standards to public sector employers passed the state House Tuesday in a 116-85 vote and is headed to the GOP-controlled state Senate. WHYY in April of 2022 examined support for such a move and the headwinds from an opposition questioning the need and costs.
CAPITOL BRIEFS: Other legislation on the move in Harrisburg this week, via Capital-Star: a right-to-unionize amendment that cleared a state House panel Monday; a bill that would expand access to sexual assault nurse examiners via Pennsylvania hospitals; and a bill giving parents DNA test kits to identify their children if they ever go missing. The latter passed out of a state Senate panel Tuesday.
PEACE TALK: U.S. Rep. Summer Lee (D., Pa.) was among 18 Democrats and one Republican to vote against a U.S. House resolution honoring America’s relationship with Israel. The reason? TribLIVE reports Republicans did not include the usual reference to a two-state solution or peace with Palestine in this year's version of the resolution, which is brought up every five years.
CANDIDATE CHARGED: WTAJ reports Huntingdon County Commissioner candidate Andrea Lynn Speck has been arrested and charged with assaulting her 18-year-old daughter. Speck, 41, is charged with felony strangulation, simple assault, and harassment. Speck is seeking the GOP nod for Huntingdon County Commissioner in this month's primary and will remain on the ballot.
OVER THE WILDS: A proposal to conduct low-altitude military training flights over the Pennsylvania Wilds is on the table and up for public comment — again. Spotlight PA tells you how to get involved and have a say.
NTSB REPORT: The NTSB's preliminary ruling on the March explosion at West Reading's R.M. Palmer Company chocolate plant confirms the fatal blast was natural gas-fueled. The exact cause is still unknown.
TWITTER APOLOGY: The president of Philadelphia's Thomas Jefferson University, Mark Tykocinski, is apologizing after "liking" tweets doubting COVID vaccines and calling gender reassignment "child mutilation."
SATAN CLUB: A federal judge ruled Monday that Northampton County's Saucon Valley School District must allow an After School Satan Club to meet, the ruling coming in response to an ACLU lawsuit.
FASHION EMERGENCIES: Pennsylvania's Emergency Management Agency, aka PEMA, waded into the Met Gala discourse with a convincing Twitter thread on common emergency threats as #MetGala looks.
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I B Q S U U S O E O
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